AFI Executive Director talks to media in Rabat, Morocco after opening Global Conference on Green Finance co-hosted with Bank Al-Maghrib on 30 October 2019.

BAM-AFI Global Conference on Green Finance 
Wednesday, 30 October, 2019
Rabat, Morocco 


Opening Speech by AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig

- Mr Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor, Bank Al-Maghrib Morocco;

- Dear members and partners, Ladies and Gentlemen,

- It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this Global Green Finance Conference.

- A big thank you to Bank Al-Maghrib and Governor Jouahri.

  • Thank Bank Al-Maghrib for the active membership in the Alliance for Financial Inclusion since 2011. BAM has been a frontrunner in AFI in the region as well as globally (Working groups, capacity building and training, AfPI, GPFs, Maya Commitments, etc.)
  • Express our thanks to Bank Al-Maghrib for the very fruitful partnership and the hospitality hosting us here in Rabat.
  • Finally, and in the context of the very relevant theme of this conference, I also want to congratulate Bank Al-Maghrib for their leadership and innovative policies on green finance.
    • But Bank Al-Maghrib has also shown leadership on innovation – by launching the ‘Innov Invest’ fund to support startups in fields ranging from fintech to renewable energy, including ‘cleantech’.
    • Bank Al-Maghrib has been leading and supporting the financial sector to make more sustainable investments as well as lending for climate-friendly technologies – this is indeed commendable.

    As we have heard and as we witness – climate change is not happening in the future. Climate change is here today, and most of us feel the effects already now. Taking effective action against the dramatic impact of climate change is in everyone’s interest. 

    However, we are here today to better understand that climate change will be in particular affecting those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Research shows that climate change might push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030 (WB). And that those that are the most disadvantaged, like women and youth, will be disproportionately affected.

    We are happy to welcome more than 30 financial regulators from emerging and developing economies, as well as regulators from the developed world including Banco de España and De Nederlandsche Bank, plus a number of partner institutions and networks (NGFS, GIZ, IFC, AfD, Sida, EBRD,) to this conference to discuss the path forward on green finance.

    A growing momentum in the developing world and beyond

    There is growing momentum for green finance globally and we as the AFI Network are a part of this development. We see a growing interest and action across the AFI Network, because developing and emerging country regulators are not only affected by the impact of climate change, and therefore part of the problem, our recent evidence is able to show that they are a crucial part of the solution. AFI’s members are already providing policy leadership as this conference will demonstrate.

    One year ago we met in Nadi, Fiji and had our first global conference on inclusive green finance – this was a positive start and we commonly decided on the Nadi Action Agenda - In only one year there has been a big growth in interest and action on inclusive green finance:

    • Launching the study outlining the 4Ps for Inclusive Green Finance (provision, promotion, protection and prevention).
    • Establishing a new IGF Working Group – that held its first meeting in September this year during our GPF in Kigali, Rwanda.
    • But also engaging in the wider green finance debate and the global UNFCCC conversations, amongst other, being present at the Pre COP 25 three weeks ago in Costa Rica – engaging with the global climate processes to make sure there is a joint response to the global climate emergency.
    • And just this week, Monday and Tuesday, holding the first AFI capacity-building event on Inclusive Green Finance.
    • And in the year to come we are planning more in-country support related to Inclusive Green Finance and to dive into providing more targeted regulatory guidance in this area.

    Part of making this workstream possible is IKI and BMU – supporting this workstream

    But we also see a lot of other efforts on green finance. One example is the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) – who we are also happy to welcome here today!

    This initiative is very welcome and there are many synergies and possibilities for collaboration between the AFI Network and the NGFS, sharing insights and supporting each other to enhance our collective efforts to mitigate climate change.

    We also want to identify the synergies with the other partners who are here today and find concrete ways to collaborate in the future.

    Global stability and long-term perspectives

    With that background, we are here to discuss and explore Green Finance and the role of financial policymakers and regulators in advancing this agenda.

    • Green finance is one of the solutions to the global climate emergency we currently witness.
    • This gathering is therefore unique and comes with a big potential impact.

    Climate change affects economic and financial stability across the globe, thus it is urgent to include a climate risk framework into the financial agenda.

    There are multiple risks related to climate change and the financial system must respond by integrating these risks into decision making and policies.

                   - These risks relate to not taking action to climate change, but also to a certain degree to the transitional risks related to addressing                               climate change.
                   - These risks are not only short-term, but many of them long-term and extremely important for us to better understand and address.
                   - There are challenge and complexity for regulators to develop the needed framework to combat climate change effects and for promoting                   the Public- Private dialogue to encourage financial services providers to offer financial products aligned with this goal – this is a big task,                     but one that cannot be ignored.
                   - We are here to discuss how this concretely can be done, to share ideas and to together engage in creating common solutions.

    Inclusive green finance has become a pillar for green finance

    Inclusive Green Finance is - How financial inclusion – access to formal savings, to credit and to insurance – builds resilience and enables mitigation to climate change.

    Inclusive Green Finance is a unique approach, as it focuses on the individuals most affected by climate change and how they can be resilient to the changes brought around by climate change.

    This is the intersection between financial inclusion and taking action on climate change.

    This is one part of the green finance discussion, which has not been touched upon earlier and which the AFI Network is leading the way forward, providing guidance in designing and implementing policies in this area.

    Cooperation on these pressing issues is of essence

    One of the main reasons we are here today is to provide a genuine space to dialogue and for cooperation.

    It is crucial for us to engage with this topic, but not only by ourselves. We need to do so together with others, across the usual divisions and borders.

    1- We cooperate across organisations and networks.

    2- We cooperate across borders

    This also including sharing insights, knowledge and ideas between developed and developing economy regulators. This is an area of global convergence and one where we need to act together and have splendid opportunities to learn from each other. The rationale for this global convergence is that financial regulators and Standard Setting Bodies have begun to recognize climate emergencies as a financial stability risk that warrants policy focus, while we are also beginning to see evidence that financial inclusion can be an appropriate way to build resilience to the effects of climate change and financial services for low-income customers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Interest in risks and solutions to the effects of climate change is growing dramatically across the globe.

    3- We aim at breaking some of the existing silos and cooperate with other stakeholders nationally.

    By doing this we are a part of the solutions for the global climate emergency that we are already now witnessing. We are here to discuss concrete solutions and to make sure we move forward, together.

    With this in mind, our objectives of this conference are:

    1. Present on and deepen the discussion around feasible solutions to combat the impact of the climate change.
    2. Attract new members and knowledge partners to join us in this mission
    3. Maintain the momentum in terms of raising Inclusive Green Finance within the Green Finance Debate.

    Thank you and welcome to this global green finance conference!






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